Those looking for signs of a growing economy can take heart from CareerBuilder’s annual jobs forecast: More than one-third of companies said they intend to hire this year, the most upbeat employment forecast since 2006.
For job seekers, education will continue to be a key factor: hiring managers and human resources officers said they expect to increase degree requirements for a significant portion of their open positions.
“As roles within organizations become more complex and data-driven, hiring managers have adjusted requirements for their job openings,” the CareerBuilder forecast noted.
Confidence appears to be replacing caution as 36% of respondents said they would add full-time, permanent employees in 2015, up from 24% the year before, the global recruitment company said in a January 2015 statement. On the other end of the spectrum, 9% of hiring managers said they intended to reduce staff, an improvement from the 13% who reported plans to downsize in 2014.
Rounding out the survey, about 48% of respondents said they expected no changes in staffing this year, while 8% said they were unsure.
The forecast showed that education requirements are on the rise: 28% of employers said they would look to hire applicants with master’s degrees for positions that previously required bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, 37% said they would look to hire candidates with bachelor's degrees for positions that previously called for a high school diploma.
Technology jobs led the forecast, with 54% of employers saying they intended to hire for information technology positions, followed by financial services (42%), manufacturing (41%) and healthcare (38%). The STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math also are expected to see robust growth, with 31% of employers saying they would hire in those areas.
The annual CareerBuilder survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll in November and December 2014, included a sample of nearly 2,200 hiring managers across industries. Among the other findings:
While just over one-third of employers said they would hire permanent workers, 46% of respondents said they would be hiring temporary or contract workers, up from 42% in 2014.